Bizarre rumours that Larry Ellison, chief executive of Oracle, had either died or resigned caused the company's share price to fall sharply last week.
A staggering $149m worth of shares changed hands in one day's trading session, three times the normal daily volume and bucking the overall trend of the market.
Throughout the day, Oracle representatives also fought off other speculation that had been rampant across various notice boards and discussion groups.
Among these was that both Ellison and Jeff Henley, chief financial officer at Oracle, had resigned. Company executives would not give credence to the Ellison death rumours by commenting on them.
"We are absolutely denying these rumours," said a representative. "There is no truth to them whatsoever. Neither Ellison nor Henley has resigned, and there are no plans for resignations."
News of executives leaving the company always wreaks havoc with Oracle's share price. When Ray Lane, chief operating officer, quit last July, the database vendor's share price fell by 14 per cent.
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